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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: October 16, 1867

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The Politics and Our Duties
(Column 02)
Summary: The Valley Virginian defends its long-held stand of working with the terms offered under Reconstruction by accepting the Convention and moving to control it. The editors see no good in relying on northern Democrats to held solve the South's problems. The paper and its veteran employees, the editorial claims, have always held the best interests of the Valley and of Virginia above all other considerations.
Full Text of Article:

The Valley Virginian, true to its name, has been devoted, by us, to "what we considered the best interests of the Valley and of Virginia." We have not professed to be a "prophet or the son of a prophet," nor have we talked "wise things, meaning nothing." We have simply "accepted the situation" as it was, from day to day, and advised our people according to the "lights before us," feeling confident that the good sense of so practical, so earnest a people, would decide upon the right; and never suppose that a paper and an office worked by "paroled" Confederates could be any thing, but devoted to Virginia.

It has not been our habit, it would not be Valley Virginian, to deal in glittering generalities," and we have always, freely and fully, stated our convictions of "what was best for the Valley and for Virginia." When the military bill was first passed, we favored a submission, by the Legislature, to the people of the question, "Convention or no Convention." When it was amended, so as to make a Convention a fixed fact, we favored an acceptance of the fact, and urged our people to vote for and control it, if possible. We have no regrets for what we have done. We believed we were right then, and we believe we are right now. We did not see any way out of our troubles, but by "using the devil's own firewood against him," (i. e. reconstruction under these hellish measures,) then, and we can see no other now. To yell, to throw up our hats, to make a big, old political hurrah generally, over the triumph of either party North, seems to us the least dignified position a Southern man could occupy. They all united in conquering us; in forcing us to "swallow the bitter pill;" and, like Gen. Lee, nothing to us "could be worse than Appomattox." Some folks have gotten very brave of late, and are howling over "Democratic victories" North; "we have the Radicals by the neck," and all that. "Bob-tailed politicians" are very belligerent, and the devil is to be played generally; but we can't see it, and until we do, we prefer taking a course, justified, by common sense, and making the best of a "bad bargain."

The question of "Convention or no Convention," has been fully discussed, and the people have made up their minds upon it. It is useless to discuss it further now. That it will be held, we are confident, and we desire every man to vote as his judgement may dictate. Believing it is to be held, we hoist the Conservative ticket at the head of our paper. The address of the committee, appointed by Saturday's Convention leaves us no word to say in favor of the candidates. We endorse and will vote for it. It is of the utmost importance that all the Conservative elements of the State should be united, the people feel it and this ticket must be elected. Let us cease discussing the question of "Convention or no Convention," and let every true Virginian devote all his "mind, heart and hand" to defeating the Radicals. This is the issue, in fact the only issue, and we must see to it that no side issues divide us. Other questions can be discussed hereafter; let us be prudent and send good men to the Convention.

The Virginia Springs--Staunton &c.
(Column 03)
Summary: The Richmond Medical Journal printed an article extolling the health benefits of the natural springs west of the Blue Ridge. The article calls attention to Staunton as an attractive town from which daily stages and trains leave for the springs. It also points to Augusta and Stribling Springs as healthy and attractive destinations.
The Late Elections
(Column 04)
Summary: Recent northern electoral triumphs for the Democrats, defeats for the Radicals, and opposition to black suffrage prove "that the people of this country are alarmed by the mad experiments in government and the wild abuses of power, which have signalized the course of the ultraist leaders." The disappointment of the populace at the failure of speedy reunion is becoming clear. Still, the southern people should not "halloo before they are out of the woods."
A Word to the Colored People
(Column 05)
Summary: The Richmond Whig warns African Americans that radicalism is on the wane and conservatism is on the ascendent in both North and South. Black suffrage is only an experiment, and the manner in which African Americans use it will have much to do with its continuance under the new regime. The editorial urges them to remember this, and break off all connection to radical politics and groups.
Full Text of Article:

What is occurring at the North, as illustrated in the elections, shows that the reign of the extremists there is at an end. That of their imitators here has never had a beginning. We do not mean to say what the ascendency of the Republican party at the North is to conclude abruptly--but that the leadership in that party of Wendell Phillips, Sumner, Butler, Stevens, and other like ultra and violent men, is over, and that the party will now come under the control of its more moderate and conservative members--men who will acknowledge no fellowship with the reckless and rabid pack of Southern Radicals. Conservatism in the North will allay itself with conservatism in the South, and the power thereby brought into action will be the power that will have the fate of the colored race in its keeping. We believe it will deal with them kindly and justly, but they must remember that it is an experiment that is now making of their fitness to be entrusted with the exercise of political privileges, and that in proportion as they exhibit the intelligence, independence and integrity that are requisite to a judicious and profitable use of the franchise conferred on them will it be concluded that their participation in the affairs of government should be increased or diminished. If it be found that they have hid themselves away in the darkness of secret and oath bound societies, and that they have sold themselves to mercenary adventurers and demagogues whose bidding they do as in the old time they did the bidding of overseers of another sort it cannot be expected that the experiment of their enfranchisement will be considered successful, and the whole effort thenceforward will be to curtail and restrain rather than to enlarge their exercise of political powers. Depend upon it the true interest of the colored race demands that they shall commend themselves not to the crazy fanatics and Jacobins, whose day is over, but to that sound, moderate and conservative body of our people whose power and will are just now beginning to assert themselves, and who, when once they have assumed their legitimate control of the Government, will hold it for generations to come. As a true friend to that race, we advise them at once to cut loose from the false guides to whom too many of them have surrendered themselves; come out from the criminal and disgraceful lodges and leagues into which they have been seduced, and seek to secure the friendship and confidence of those whom they know to be men of character and sense.--Richmond Whig.

Conservative Meeting
(Column 05)
Summary: A meeting of the "Conservative white voters of Augusta County" was held at the Court House on October 12th. Captain William A. Abney chaired the meeting. A committee composed of James Bumgardner, George M. Cochran Jr., John Shuey, Lee R. Waddell and Clinton Hall nominated the following as candidates for the convention: Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, and J. C. Southall. Other committees were appointed to draft and print an address to the voters of Augusta County.
(Names in announcement: Col. George Baylor, William A. Abney, James BumgardnerJr., George M. CochranJr., John Shuey, Lee R. Waddell, Clinton Hall, Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, J. C. Southall, Y. H. Peyton, Marshall Hanger, Robert Burke, H. B. MichieJr., H. M. Bell, A. M. Pierce, D. E. Strasburg, H. L. Opie)
Good Advice to Young Men
(Column 06)
Summary: The Valley Virginian endorses the advice of the South Georgia Times that the young men of the South should focus more energy on farm labor.

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Coal for Fuel
(Column 02)
Summary: Many Staunton residents are switching from burning wood to burning coal this winter season. "A good idea, for with the cost of wood and the trouble of cutting, &c., coal is the article for us, as a matter of convenience and economy."
(Column 02)
Summary: Rev. Mr. Clarke held a "protracted meeting" at the Methodist Church in Staunton on Monday night. He plans to continue the meetings nightly, and expects aid from other churches. "It bids fair to be a great revival."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Clarke)
Augusta Medical Society
(Column 02)
Summary: The Augusta Medical Society met for a discussion of Diptheria. Dr. C. R. Harris and Dr. Kennerly participated. Dr. Charles Philips will re-read an essay at the next meeting.
(Names in announcement: Dr. C. R. Harris, Dr. Kennerly, Dr. Charles Philips)
The Polish Exiles
(Column 02)
Summary: General Tochman was in Augusta on behalf of the Polish colony in Spotsylvania. He addressed the citizens of Augusta, and asked for a gift of 100 bushels of wheat to help the struggling immigrants. Alexander H. H. Stuart passed a resolution calling on Augusta citizens, as a matter of "sound policy as well as enlightened benevolence," to donate "100 bushels of seed wheat" to the colony. The following made donations: William A. Burke, two plows; A. H. H. Stuart, $5; Jacob Baylor, 5 bushels of wheat. "This is a poor showing for the great county of Augusta, and we hope our farmers will soon deposit the 100 bushels of wheat with Bumgardner and McClure. We want emigration and this is the way to get it."
(Names in announcement: General Tochman, Alexander H. H. Stuart, William A. Burke, Jacob Baylor, Bumgardner, McClure)
The Drama
(Column 03)
Summary: Manager Ogden, of the new Richmond Theatre, plans to bring his Star Company to Staunton for performances over six nights, "giving to all a chance to witness some of the best plays, by the first artists in the South." "The energy of Manager Ogden is commendable, and it is to be hoped that all, who appreciate such amusements, will give their support. The Richmond, Lynchburg and Petersburg paper speak in the highest terms of the moral character of these entertainments and their classic worth."
Staunton Lyceum
(Column 03)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum voted 9 to 6 that "the law should secure to a married woman her undivided property, free from the debts and control of her husband." The group also discussed whether or not Roman Catholicism, "regarded solely as to its secular influence, has tended, on the whole, to the advancement of mankind, socially and politically." Bolivar Christian argued in the affirmative and Y. Howe Peyton in the negative. The following officers were elected for the group: Col. John B. Baldwin, President; Bolivar Christian, Vice President; R. M. Guy, Secretary; Marshall Hanger, Treasurer. Y. H. Peyton will deliver the group's anniversary address.
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian, Y. Howe Peyton, Col. John B. Baldwin, R. M. Guy, Marshall Hanger)
To the Voters of the County of Augusta
(Column 03)
Summary: This address to the people of Augusta introduces the convention candidates selected by a meeting of the conservative white voters of the county. Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, and James C. Southall are the candidates most able to unite the conservative voters in the district, the resolution asserts.
(Names in announcement: Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, James C. Southall, George M. CochranJr., W. A. Burke, H. M. Bell, Marshall Hanger, James BumgardnerJr.)
Full Text of Article:

In response to a call published in the Staunton papers, for a meeting to be held in Staunton on the 12th of October, 1867, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Convention, a number of citizens, not large, but fairly representing the people of all portions of Augusta county, assembled, and unanimously selected Joseph A. Waddell and Powell Harrison to represent the county, and James C. Southall, of Albemarle, to represent the District composed of Augusta, Albemarle and Louisa counties. The undersigned were also appointed by said meeting a committee to prepare an address to the voters of Augusta.

Mr. Harrison and Mr. Waddell are both too well known, and their character and capacity too highly appreciated by our people, to need that the action of the meeting, in choosing them, should be vindicated. As the white majority in the counties of Augusta, Albemarle and Louisa is large enough to elect a conservative delegate, by concentrating the entire white vote upon a single candidate, it was thought most expedient to select a candidate who it was believed, would command the vote of Albemarle and Louisa. Mr. James Southall, the Editor of the Charlottesville Chronicle, who is efficiently using his great abilities in the interests of conservatism, and who is extensively and favorably known in these counties, seemed most available for ensuring their vote, and at the same time acceptable to the people of Augusta. It is believed that he will unite the entire conservative vote of the District, and thus defeat the election of a radical. It cannot be expected that each voter should have his first choice. Concert of action is indispensable, and can only be secured in the way provided by the meeting--the people fairly represented. In this meeting, held after full and fair notice, men have been nominated who are known to be good and true and suitable.

The election of good men can now only be secured by uniting upon those nominees. Then let every conservative, every anti-radical come himself, and use all his influence in inducing others to come, and vote for the conservative nominees.
George M. Cochran, Jr.
W. A. Burke
H. M. Bell
Marshall Hanger
James Bumgardner, Jr.

(Column 03)
Summary: Willie Lite Ward, 16 month old son of G. S. and Lucy A. Ward died in his father's residence near Mt. Crawford. "Gone to the regions of bliss/Far from the sorrows of a cold, cold world."
(Names in announcement: Willie Lite Ward, G. S. Ward, Lucy A. Ward)

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